Thursday, June 04, 2009

Coffee tables & Artifacts, Dimension, Colour, Weight, Location & Ambience

Coffee tables and artifacts, choose artifacts that blend with the rest of the ambience for your coffee table.

Most living room seating configurations have a coffee table in the center. This item of furniture forms the focal point of the space. Its design and fabrication material dictates its appeal. Apart from its utilitarian properties the look and visual appeal of a center table can be enhanced with the use of decorative artifacts.


A very common tabletop item is the ashtray. Though it has a functional role, its design often makes it attractive enough to become the adornment of the table. Statues in
various materials create interest. Groups of three or more figurines can be used to formulate a theme in one corner. A low profile fresh or dry flower arrangement gives the room ambience and fragrance. Multi-coloured pebbles, shells, decorative lamps, embroidered table runners, floating candles and flowers in containers, decorative pottery, musical timepieces etc are some of the variety of pieces that can be displayed on a table top.

Formal interiors can also use porcelain or silver tea sets as decor pieces, to be used when required. Since the sets are beautiful in their embellishments it adds to the aesthetics of the area. Delicate items are often arranged at a lower level where they can be viewed through the glass tabletop, which also acts as a protective layer on top.


The artifacts to be used on the coffee table can be in a variety of materials. Whatever is used should complement the surrounding decor and enhance the ambience. A very popular choice is glass in its various forms like crystal, cut glass, coloured glass and stained glass. Since tabletops are often made of glass, these decor objects match the base on which they are placed. Metals such as brass, bronze, pewter and copper are often added for an ethnic look. Pieces with carving, etching, filigree work and embossing against a backdrop of silks and period furniture have a special old world charm. Stone and wood can be used to fashion many exquisite objects like statues, boxes, bowls, paperweights, picture frames etc that can beautify a space. Very often the tabletop is made from stained or etched glass or a carved wooden panel with intricate inlay work. At such times crowding the area with too many decor items distracts from the beauty of both the table and the pieces themselves.

Choose carefully

Since the coffee table is usually situated in the center of the living room it attracts immediate attention while entering a home. Just as a bare table can be monotonous, an overly crowded one can be too busy and unappealing.

Some basic factors to avoid confusion and preserve aesthetic appeal:

Dimension: The dimension of the table, room and overall volume of the space dictates the size of the artifacts that will suit the coffee table. Oversize statues are an example of not adhering to proportion between the items that form the ambience in a room.

Colour: This is a two dimensional tool that creates a suitable statement in a space. The decor items on the coffee table can be either of muted hues if meant to blend with the theme or in sharp contrast if focus is required. Too many colours on the surface will be distracting. Sometimes the colour of a decor piece like a figurine can match those running through the soft furnishings like drapes, carpets, upholstery and wall hangings, and tie the design theme together.

Weight: Some ceramic, stone and metal pieces can be very heavy. Adequate support is required to ensure that a fragile tabletop does not crack, splinter or break resulting in the loss of the table and probably expensive artifacts.

Location: Just as heavy items should be placed carefully, fragile pieces must be located in a safe place. They should not be in an area on the table where a careless nudge can dislodge it. Also, breakable items need to be out of reach of children who can be injured in any accidental damage.

Ambiance: Some items add a formal air while others create a casual atmosphere. Modern decor pieces may look awkward in an ethnic interior while heavy cut glass will not complement bamboo furniture. Finally, even a single judiciously chosen piece can beautify a coffee table instead of a jumble of knick-knacks.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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